We planned to discover South Devon. I had a packed travel itinerary, gathered from various google searches: ‘Things to do in South Devon’. Life has been hectic. This was chance to get away and explore new places. Camping was booked. As near as I could get to a spot called Blackpool Sands. The car loaded we headed first Dartmouth, before a weekend of ticking things off my list. I had forgotten how camping slows the pace of life down and how places can charm you into staying longer.
Things take a little longer when you camp. We trotted around Dartmouth at a pace before heading to the campsite. Pitching a tent take a certain amount of time an patience, and that, for me, is when the spell of camping kicks in. Pitched and weary, we sit and admire the view and start to unwind.
The following morning, we wake to a bright skies and sunshine, which makes for a leisurely start to the day. Crouching over slow boiling kettles balanced on a camping stoves, a long breakfast. Eventually, we gather ourselves and head to the beach. Blackpool Sands had been recommended to me by a friend and as soon as I first glimpsed it, I knew it would not disappoint. An unspoilt stretch of golden beach on the South Devon coast. Proving that some of the best travel spots are in the UK.
Fringed by trees expect shingle beach rather than sand (which makes it a nicer place when the wind blows). Clear water is testament to blue flag beach status and on a sunny Saturday afternoon in early June, Blackpool Sands offered plenty of space. A simple day of doing very little spotting sail boats on the horizon, searching for shells, dozing or paddling.
We reached Blackpool Sands on foot. An mile or so walk via the empty lanes of the village of Stoke Fleming. Crossing the busy A379, then down a sun dabbled woodland path to the beach.
Just enough to provide everything you might need for a day on the beach, Blackpool Sands has a licensed cafe, takeaway and beach shop. Charged car parking, accessible toilets, showers and life guard during the summer months. There is a year round ‘no dog’ rule (sorry dog owners).
South Devon is known as the English Rivera a length of coast which offers great beaches, glorious rolling country side and picture perfect villages.
Life is short and busy and camping for me is the antidote, a weekend of unhurried time spent together as a family. Phones and other electronic devices that occupy too much of life at home, shoved to the bottom of bags and forgotten. Instead we play games and chat while waiting for the BBQ to heat, in soft evening light. Camping seems to the slow the pace of the day, it tilts the angle of the day towards simpler, shared moments together. The ‘Things to do in South Devon’ will be another post for another day.
We camped with the Camping and Caravanning Club their Dartmouth site. Well-kept and friendly with sea views. A walkable distance to Blackpool sands via the pretty village of Stoke Fleming, a quiet place but furnished with a pub, restaurant and village shop. Nearby alternative Camping and Caravanning sites are Slapton Sands and California.
Camping undoubtedly makes for memorable weekends, time that binds us together as a family. We feel the weather a little more because it is a greater dictator of activity when you a sleeping in a tent. That isn’t a bad thing, because rolled into that is watching the sky, the clouds and the sunset. Being outside means we notice more, the elderflower bushes in bloom, the variety of spring flowers growing in walls and hedgerows. We quietly spy birds gathering worms for their nesting young. The little things of life that often get missed, the small wonders that are life affirming in a positive way and I think we need that now more than ever.
Disclosure: I am a Camping and Caravanning Club press card holder. I approached the club about camping in order to share our love of camping and the outdoors. Our camping was provided. All words and opinions are my own.